Baylor QB Bryce Petty was a Heisman snub, is an NFL Draft idiot

bryce petty baylor heisman nfl draft
Image credit to Tony Gutierrez/ AP

Baylor QB Bryce Petty had a phenomenal 2013 season, but oddly wasn’t invited to New York for the Heisman presentation.  I’m not saying he should have won, but him finishing 7th is a joke.  Then, in a strange pre-bowl move, he announced that he will be back for his senior season.  While I commend the young man for wanting to get an education, I wonder if this is a really bad business decision.  Let me explain…

The Heisman Snub

Ok, so Jameis Winston’s Heisman season was (among) the best ever.  But if your revisit the chart at the bottom of that article, you’ll see that Petty’s 2013 was WAAAY up there in my all time single-season rankings.  Nonetheless, Petty was not invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony.  It’s interesting to me that Petty could have similar key-game numbers as RG3, lead his team to an 11-1 record (RG3 was 9-3 regular season), but get passed over for lifetime achievement nominee AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel (system QB?).  Just for fun, let’s compare Petty’s 2013 to RG3’s 2011 to understand how otherworldly Petty was.  For fun, I am including other Art Briles proteges Kevin Kolb and Nick Florence

QB Year Age College % multi-TD pass games Comp % TD % INT % AdjY/A
Petty, Bryce 2013 22 Baylor 100% 59.22% 9.2% 0.5% 12.6
Griffin, Robert 2011 21 Baylor 67% 69.50% 8.1% 1.6% 11.5
Kolb, Kevin 2006 22 Houston 71% 65.50% 6.8% 0.5% 10.1
Florence, Nick 2012 23 Baylor 80% 61.14% 7.3% 3.0% 9.1

Every time Baylor took the field against a bowl-eligible opponent, Petty threw multiple TDs.  His touchdown rate was the best of Briles’  pupils as was his interception rate.  Granted, his completion percentage was the lowest, but it was, at worst, average.  Overall, his adjusted yards per attempt was the best by a considerable amount.  Yes, one yard per every attempt is a big deal.

Of all the stats in that previous chart, there’s one that really catches my attention.  Can you guess it?  It’s not the cohort-leading TD% or INT%, instead it’s the % multi-TD pass games.  To throw multiple touchdowns in 100% of his key games is a rare feat.  How rare?  Only 13 other players have done it since 1995.  Five of them went on to be 1st round picks.  Two of them went on to be Tom Brady and Drew Brees.  Others have won the Heisman or been a finalist.  It’s not bad company to keep.  Yet, there is Bryce Petty atop the 100% club, when sorted by AY/A.

QB Year Age College games vs bowl eligible % games w/ multi-TD passes TD:INT AY/A
Petty, Bryce 2013 22 Baylor 7 100% 19.1 12.6
Bradford, Sam 2008 21 Oklahoma 9 100% 4.9 10.6
Moore, Kellen 2010 21 Boise St 6 100% 5.3 10.2
Grossman, Rex 2001 21 Florida 8 100% 2.3 9.6
Wuerffel, Danny 1996 22 Florida 7 100% 2.4 9.5
Moore, Kellen 2011 22 Boise St 9 100% 3.1 9.0
Luck, Andrew 2011 22 Stanford 7 100% 3.2 8.7
Carr, Derek 2013 22 Fresno 6 100% 6.0 8.4
Leftwich, Byron 2002 22 Marshall 5 100% 3.0 8.3
Brady, Tom 1999 22 Michigan 7 100% 2.7 7.9
Pike, Tony 2009 23 Cincinnati 6 100% 3.2 7.6
Couch, Tim 1998 21 Kentucky 7 100% 2.3 7.6
Cato, Rakeem 2012 20 Marshall 7 100% 3.1 7.2
Brees, Drew 2000 21 Purdue 8 100% 2.9 7.2
Redman, Chris 1999 22 Louisville 6 100% 1.9 7.1

Petty’s 2013 was one of the truly unique performances of the past two decades, yet he was left out of the Heisman conversation.  His decision to return for 2014 has led many to believe that he will be a Heisman front runner in 2014.  While I agree with that premise, here is why it was dumb for him to return.

The NFL Draft Idiot

When it comes to NFL Quarterback prospects, age matters.  As you can read in this RotoViz article, and this follow-up, players who play their final college season at Age 23 have a tougher time with the NFL transition.

If Bryce Petty entered the 2014 NFL Draft, his rookie age (as defined by the age on 12/31 of that year) would be 23.6, which is right in the middle of the pack of all QBs entering the draft for the past ~20 years.

If Bryce Petty waits to enter the 2015 NFL Draft, his rookie age would be 24.6, which would  make him one of the 15 oldest QBs to get drafted since 1996. By comparison, consider that guys like Alex Smith, Matt Stafford, and Aaron Rodgers were all 22.1 or younger.  That’s 2.5 years LESS of premium coaching and professional commitment that Petty would lack.  In the Darwinian world of the NFL, 30 months matters a lot.

Think about it for a second.  The goal of the NFL Draft is to enter it when your value is highest, as to maximize your draft pick, salary, and probability of playing.  Guys who leave early tend to leave when they’re at their best.  Guys who play their final college season at age 23 are usually of this variety  “well, I was never good enough to leave early.  I can’t stay any longer.  I guess I’ll just go to the NFL Draft now.”

But the thing with Petty is that he IS good enough to go to the NFL Draft.  In fact, his 2013 season grades as the BEST PASSING PERFORMANCE of any of the draft eligible QBs.  Here is how he compares to a few notable names (bowl games not included):

QB Year Age College % games w/ multi-TD passes Comp % td % int % AdjY/A
Petty, Bryce 2013 22 Baylor 100% 59.2% 9.2% 0.5% 12.6
Mettenberger, Zach 2013 22 LSU 50% 65.9% 6.1% 3.1% 9.9
Bridgewater, Teddy 2013 21 Louisville 80% 70.6% 7.4% 1.8% 9.6
Mariota, Marcus 2013 20 Oregon 83% 66.0% 6.5% 2.0% 9.2
Manziel, Johnny 2013 21 Texas A&M 67% 68.6% 8.4% 4.0% 9.1
Murray, Aaron 2013 23 Georgia 71% 64.3% 6.7% 2.9% 9.1
Bortles, Blake 2013 21 UCF 60% 69.8% 5.4% 3.4% 8.9
Boyd, Tajh 2013 23 Clemson 43% 65.5% 6.5% 3.5% 8.7
Carr, Derek 2013 22 Fresno 100% 68.3% 7.0% 1.2% 8.4
McCarron, AJ 2013 23 Alabama 57% 64.9% 7.3% 2.6% 8.3
Fales, David 2013 23 SJSU 63% 66.2% 6.5% 3.2% 8.2

In closing, Bryce Petty had an outstanding year, which I expect to continue in the Fiesta Bowl.  He posted better numbers than RG3 or any other Art Briles’ quarterback, he joined the exclusive 100% club, and ultimately grades as one of the highest performers of the 2013 season.  I cannot imagine that his stock will ever be higher than it is right now.  Especially considering Marcus Mariota’s decision to return to school, this draft is wide open when it comes to QB.  By staying in school, Bryce Petty is missing out on a chance to “sell high” on himself.  It will be fun to see if/when he goes nuts against UCF if he might be temped to change his decision and declare for the draft.

If you thought this article was stupid, awesome, or somewhere in between continue this conversation with me on Google+ or Twitter.

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2014 NFL Draft: Young and Beastly Tight Ends

eric ebron nfl draft unc

Bowl season is upon us which means getting our last looks at top NFL prospects.  The other day I looked at Running Back declarations to monitor and today we’ll look at tight ends.  As you may have read in Tyler Wilson and the curse of the old quarterback or We need to have a talk about Giants WR Rueben Randle I believe that prospect age DOES matter, so it’s interesting to look at which players have the right blend of talent and youth.

For Tight Ends it is VERY RARE for a player to play his rookie season at age 21.  Only seven TEs in NFL history have recorded 10+ catches in their age 21 season.  In a minute you’ll meet one 2014 TE who could join this elite club:

Aaron Hernandez, 45

Rob Gronkowski, 42

Jason Witten, 35

Tony Gonzalez, 33

Martellus Bennett. 20

Johnny Mitchell, 16

Todd Heap, 16

Pretty spectacular list, huh?

For the purposes of this article, I’m looking for Tight Ends who:

1) are eligible for 2014 NFL Draft

2) would play their rookie season at age 21 or 22

3) are taller than 6’4”

Here are my results and opportunities for you to watch them during bowl season.  Please understand that the likelihood of them being in the draft varies greatly from guys who have graduated to guys who are eligible but haven’t declared.

UPDATE: Check out Johnny Manziel and the 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Age Project for ages of (almost) every player eligible for the `14 Draft.

TE School Born Height Bowl
Eric Ebron* North Carolina 4/10/1993 6’4”1/8 Belk
Colt Lyeria* Oregon 11/13/1992 6’4” 5/8
Rory Anderson South Carolina 10/2/1992 6’5” Capitol One
Austin Seferian Jenkins* Washington 9/29/1992 6’5” 3/4 Fight Hunger
Xavier Grimble USC 9/2/1992 6’4” 5/8 Las Vegas
Jace Amaro* Texas Tech 6/26/1992 6’4” 5/8 Holiday

Ebron is the real standout of this group as he is destined to join that 21 year old, 10 catch group.  The others would be 22 in their rookie years.  If you think I’m missing someone, please leave a comment!

If you thought this article was stupid, awesome, or somewhere in between continue this conversation with me on Google+ or Twitter.

2014 NFL Draft: Young and Beastly Running Backs

Image credit to Amanda Snyder/MN Daily
Image credit to Amanda Snyder/MN Daily

I did a little research into NFL Draft prospects today.  Specifically, I looked into the ages of players eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft at both the Running Back and Tight End positions.  As you may have read in Tyler Wilson and the curse of the old quarterback or We need to have a talk about Giants WR Rueben Randle I believe that age DOES matter.  It’s pretty rare that an NFL rookie will make his debut at age 21, so I LOVE those guys, and am still able to get excited about 22 year old rookies.

Similarly, when it comes to the running back position, I like backs who are 210 pounds or more.  Workout data will play a big role in this equation, eventually, but for now I just wanted a quick filter of running backs who:

1) are eligible for 2014 NFL Draft

2) would play their rookie season at age 21 or 22

3) weigh more than 210 lbs.

Here are my results and opportunities for you to watch them during bowl season.  Please understand that the likelihood of them being in the draft varies greatly from guys who have graduated to guys who are eligible but haven’t declared.

UPDATE: Check out Johnny Manziel and the 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Age Project for ages of (almost) every player eligible for the `14 Draft.

RB School Born Weight Bowl
David Cobb Minnesota 6/3/1993 225 Texas Bowl
Isaiah Crowell* Alabama St 1/8/1993 215
George Atkinson III* Notre Dame 11/29/1992 220 New Era Pinstripe
Jeremy Hill* LSU 10/29/1992 235 Outback
Andre Williams Boston Coll. 8/28/1992 227 Advocare V100
Marcus Coker Stony Brook 5/11/1992 230
Tim Cornett UNLV 4/18/1992 210 Heart of Dallas
James Wilder Jr* FSU 4/14/1992 229 BCS Championship
Rajion Neal Tennessee 3/28/1992 212
Orleans Darkwa Tulane 2/28/1992 210 New Orleans
David Fluellen Toledo 1/29/1992 215
Jay Ajayi Boise year 3 220 Hawaii
Antonio Andrews WKU year 4 212

This is a very preliminary list, but an interesting group to monitor.  Just a little food for thought. If you think I’m missing someone, please leave a comment!

If you thought this article was stupid, awesome, or somewhere in between continue this conversation with me on Google+ or Twitter.

1st Round Wide Receivers and Productivity Scores

A reader recently commented on my Cordarrelle Patterson article saying that “I don’t think the statistics-based story (against him) is going to play out well.”  This reader then brought up some excellent points about notable JUCO transfers and how they did in their first year and how they went on to become NFL stars.  Really, it was good stuff.

But the question isn’t about their first year after JUCO; the question is about their LAST year before the NFL.  So, for fun, I compiled the Productivity Scores of every first round wide receiver since 2005.  I’m not saying productivity score is the be-all-end-all of predictors.  It is, however, one part of the prediction.  As you’ll see below, it certainly seems to be at least a prerequisite for entering the round one conversation.

See by year, or by everyone sorted (below)

2012:

Justin Blackmon– 75

Michael Floyd– 78

Kendall Wright– 71

AJ Jenkins–110

2011:

AJ Green– 85

Julio Jones– 64

Jonathan Baldwin– 63

2010:

Demaryius Thomas– 145

Dez Bryant– 123  (2008 season)

2009:

Darius Heyward-Bey– 72

Michael Crabtree– 62

Jeremy Maclin– 60

Percy Harvin– 49

Hakeem Nicks– 107

Kenny Britt–71

2008:

None..Donnie Avery top WR at pick 33, score– 69)

2007:

Calvin Johnson– 111

Tedd Ginn JR– 58

Dwayne Bowe– 70

Robert Meachem– 86

Craig “Buster” Davis– 39

Anthony Gonzalez– 53

2006:

Santonio Holmes– 97

2005:

Braylon Edwards– 108

Troy Williamson– 92

Mike Williams– 76 (2003 season)

Matt Jones– played QB in college

Mark Clayton (okla)–49

Roddy White– 101

SORTED  

22/28 Round 1 wide receivers had a productivity score over 60.  While there is no guarantee of success, it does certainly seem to be a starting point for the conversation.  If you want to make the Percy Harvin argument, that’s fine, but read below to see why even that doesn’t help Patterson’s case.

Demaryius Thomas– 145

Dez Bryant– 123  (2008 season)

Calvin Johnson– 111

AJ Jenkins–110

Braylon Edwards– 108

Hakeem Nicks– 107

Roddy White– 101

Santonio Holmes– 97

Troy Williamson– 92

Robert Meachem– 86

AJ Green– 85

Michael Floyd– 78

Mike Williams– 76 (2003 season)

Justin Blackmon– 75

Darius Heyward-Bey– 72

Kendall Wright– 71

Kenny Britt–71

Dwayne Bowe– 70

Julio Jones– 64

Jonathan Baldwin– 63

Michael Crabtree– 62

Jeremy Maclin– 60

———-

Tedd Ginn JR– 58

Anthony Gonzalez– 53  (ACL)

Percy Harvin– 49

Mark Clayton (Okla)–49

Craig “Buster” Davis– 39

Cordarrelle Patterson?– 35

Matt Jones– played QB in college

Footnote:  Patterson vs Harvin

  • Patterson, 12 games, 2012— 25 rushes, 308 yards, 3 TD—46 receptions, 778 yards, 5TD
  • Harvin, 12 games, 2008—70 rushes, 668 yards, 10 TD—40 receptions, 644 yards, 7TD

Senior Bowl Quarterbacks

Without Geno and Barkley, this game really takes a hit.  In the long run, only two or three quarterbacks per draft class end up panning out and I think Geno and Barkley are the 2013 class’ best chances.  Let’s see if any of the six Senior Bowl quarterbacks will make a splash in the NFL.  Here’s how I rank them heading into this week.

#1 Landry Jones, Oklahoma  (SOUTH)

Remember in 2010 when everyone was sky high on Landry Jones and thought he was a sure fire RD 1 pick?  Well, there’s good news and bad news to this statement.  The bad news is that Landry has not progressed as a player since 2010.  His growth has plateaued and he likely ‘is what he is,’ leaving little room for growth in the NFL.  On the other hand, the good news is that Landy Jones in 2012 performed almost identically to Landry Jones in 2010, meaning that he’s still a high performing quarterback, relatively speaking.  Away from his comfy Oklahoma environment, it  will be interesting to see how Landry performs this week.

#2 EJ Manuel  (SOUTH)

The good news about EJ Manuel is that he still appears to be growing as a quarterback.  In virtually every metric his numbers improved from 2011 to 2012, indicating that there’s still upside.  Perhaps with superior NFL coaching, the raw talent that everyone has loved will blossom into a star caliber player.  The frustrating part about EJ is that the production, in the form of high TD passing game performances, isn’t there.  Consider that in 2011 AND 2012 combined, he only had SIX meaningful games with 2+ TD passes.  Compare this with single season performances from guys like Drew Brees (8 in 2000), Tom Brady (7 in 1999), and Andrew Luck (7 in 2011) and it’s clear to see that something is awry.  Manuel is an interesting player, but I’d like to see more.

#3 Ryan Nassib  (NORTH)

In the same way that Landry Jones ‘plateaued’ between 2010 and 2012, the same could be said for Nassib.  He threw touchdowns at a lower rate, interceptions at a higher rate, and overall graded out as a low-ceiling prospect.  He strikes me as a serviceable backup, game-manager type, but others seem to think he’s top 50 material.  Like Ryan Tannehill, he seems to be a hot candidate for 3rd best QB contention, which could send him shooting up draft boards.  I’ll be watching him close this week to see if he ‘flashes’.

#4 Tyler Wilson  (SOUTH)

Wilson is REALLY hard to get a read on.  His performance–and the team– went from outstanding with Bobby Petrino in 2011 to an utter debacle in 2012 under John L Smith.  While his attempts/gm and completion percentage held relatively steady, he threw touchdowns 20% less often and interceptions 300% more often.  Unlike Nassib, Manuel, Jones, and Glennon, Tyler Wilson didn’t play in a bowl game.  With 7 weeks to prep for this game, he needs to impress or risk getting lost in the fray.

#5 Mike Glennon  (NORTH)

Glennon is a curious case.  He threw the ball 18 more times per game in 2012 than in 2011, completing fewer passes but completing them further down field.  This would indicate to me that he was playing catch-up a lot.  To further this theory, his interception rate was the highest of any Senior Bowl quarterback.  As an overall product, he seems to have slightly regressed from his 2011 form; not the direction you want to be heading in when the competition is only going to get tougher.

#6 Zac Dysert  (NORTH)

Dysert is my lowest graded QB in this game.  Despite entering 2012 as a buzzy mid-major prospect, Dysert failed to back up his 2011 performance.  Despite his pass attempts and pass-distance remaining steady, he completed 7 percent fewer passes.  His TD% held steady but his interception% spiked.  Given the disastrous state of the Miami University football program, it will be interesting to see how he fairs in this game.  With an improved supporting cast, will his talent shine through?  Or will the increased level of competition, compared to the MAC, cause him to struggle?

East-West Shrine Game

Over the weekend the East-West Shrine Game featured a number of nice players.  While the commentators admitted that “this game isn’t for guys that will get drafted in the first two rounds,” they did go on to say that many solid mid-round prospects were present.  Below, I list specific players who had cleared some draftability-hurdles in my system and who I wanted to scout further with my own two eyes.

Quarterbacks

West: Matt Scott (Arizona), Seth Doege (Texas Tech)

East: Colby Cameron (La Tech)

———-

Arizona QB Matt Scott showed the most physical talent, in my opinion, but was far from stellar.  He made several strong throws immediately after hitting the 3rd or 5th step of his dropback.  He showed a strong arm on a 35 yard throw from the opposite hash, although it probably should have been intercepted on a nice jump by the defender.  On one drive, he made a nice decision when a 1-man route was covered, tucking to run for positive yardage and show off his wheels.  On two occasions he failed to get the play in, requiring his team to take a timeout.  The announcers pointed out that Arizona operated with a ‘check with us’ sideline playcalling system.  Yes, this is a knock, but surely someone will draft him on the physical tools, hoping to coach him up on the terminology.

Needing to overcome his ‘smallish’ size and ‘system QB label, Seth Doege failed to deliver.  While the commentators praised Doege’s arm strength, it was hardly on display.  He one-hopped a deep comeback on the first drive and had a pass deflected at the line on second drive.  While he showed nice pocket presence, eluding the rush, he under threw a receiver on a crossing route, nearly getting intercepted.  On at least three occasions, he failed to ‘pull the trigger’ on time, once resulting in a sack/fumble and another time in an interception on a late throw to the endzone.  The one bright spot came from on a 40 yard pass down the sideline which was broken up via pass interference.  Doege seemed uncomfortable ‘out of his system’.

Colby Cameron was rough too.  He seemed to labor on an opposite hash 5 yd curl, one hopped an 8 yard curl route, and was late/off target on an out route that was intercepted & returned for a touchdown.  The one ‘nice’ throw he made was a 40 yard streak down the sideline, but the defender routed the receiver outside and the pass ended up off target.  Similar to Matt Scott, Cameron is a one-year wonder from a high powered system, but I would say that Cameron showed less physical talent than Scott.

Collin Klein did nothing to help his case.  He seemed to labor on medium range throws and was intercepted on an underthrow on a deep route.  He missed Emory Blake on a deep-out that seemed like it should have been routine.  He struggled to square his shoulders rolling left.  He flashed as a runner, so maybe their is a niche/wildcat role for him, but I don’t believe he has any future as an every down QB in the NFL

While he grades very poorly in my system, credit to Nathan Stanley for being the first QB to air it out, showing some arm strength and livening up the game.

Wide Receivers

west: Chad Bumphis (Mississippi State), Anthony Amos (MTSU), Jasper Collins (Mt Union)

east: Corey Fuller (Va Tech), Marcus Davis (Va Tech), Emory Blake (Auburn)

———-

Chad Bumphis struck me as the best receiver in the game.  He showed quick-start speed coming off the line of scrimmage and strong change of direction ability.  On three occasions he threatened the defensive backs, slammed on the breaks, and caught passes on comeback passes.  On one play he challenged the outside shoulder of the defender, got the DB to flip his hips, and broke hard to the inside, wide open for a deep ball.  Unfortunately Seth Doege didn’t pull the trigger.  Bumphis showed good concentration on his touchdown, catching the ball with a CB flashing in front of his face, turning and getting into the end zone.  He’ll have work to do with his run blocking, but showed the receiving skills to be a threat in the slot.

Corey Fuller explodes off the line of scrimmage.  His track background and 6′ 2” frame ooze of upside.  His best play was a deep out that he caught, spun upfield, and showed good acceleration while picking up 21 yards.  He has a

Jasper Collins showed some intangibles that I liked, but had minimal production.  He showed good effort while sealing of the edge with two blocks on end around that scored.  He was also quick to pounce on a fumble.  Unfortunately, he muffed a punt and turned in a so-so 3 catches for 17 yards.

Emory Blake looks like a sharp route tunner.  While he is definitely not a blazer, he showed polish on the two routes in which he was targeted.  Also, he showed up as a blocker.

MTSU WR Anthony Amos continued his march from anonymity to the NFL.  He showed nice concentration hauling in a slant between defenders.  He made nice play in a scramble-drill situation, moving with the QB and coming back to the ball.  He tracked the ball well on a 40 yard throw down the sideline but was the victim of PI.  He looks to have some open field moves and should hear his name called on draft day.

It will be interesting to see what happens with former Army QB Trent Steelman.  He certainly seems to have some ‘shake’ to him, looked fast, and was–unsurprisingly–a high effort player.

Running Backs

West: Kerwynn Williams (Utah State)

East:  Ray Graham (Pitt)

———-

The game got off to a rough start for Ray Graham.  On the first play from scrimmage he dropped the ball while switching hands, resulting in a turnover.  As a smaller back, Graham would seem to have an opportunity to contribute on special teams, but he seemed slow to reach top speed.  From the line of scrimmage, he showed good change of direction, picking his way for positive yardage. He also showed nice skills on a swing pass, making first guy miss and moving the chains on 3rd down.

Unlike Graham, Kerwynn Williams showed nice return skills and seemed to have more ‘shake’ in the open field.  As a runner, he had a couple nice 7+ yard runs.  Despite his small stature, the announcers praised his pass protection skills, a critical aspect if he is to carve out a niche role in an NFL offense.  I think we’ll hear more from Williams.

Tight Ends

West: Joseph Fauria (UCLA), Zach Sudfeld (Nevada)

East:

———-

Disappointingly, Joseph Fauria from UCLA had to pull out of the game with a hip injury.  He caught an outstanding 11 touchdowns in 2012 and, on size alone (6′ 7”), should find a place on an NFL roster.

Zach Sudfeld looked slow off the line and seemed to have his routes easily altered by linebackers.  On several occasions he was seen lumbering down the field, blocking nobody in particular, or whiffing on blocks completely.  He also dropped a pass inside the redzone on a nice throw from Matt Scott.  This was a disappointing effort.

Should you fold your Ace (Sanders)?

Ace Sanders pulled the ol’ switcheroo, deciding to declare for the NFL draft after it was originally reported that he would return for his senior season.  Let’s take him into The Lab and examine his NFL prospects.

Can’t read his poker face

In 37 career games at South Carolina, Sanders only went over 60 yards receiving on six occasions.

2010:  twice in 13 games

2011: once in 12 games

2012: three times in 12 games

Hardly inspiring…

In 2012, his average stat line was 3.7 catches, 44 yards, and .75 touchdowns.  Now, before you come at me with “South Carolina isn’t a passing team,” consider that Sanders productivity grade was only a 51, which accounts for strength of passing game.  Normally, you want to see numbers of a least 60+ with elite prospects scoring in the 80+ range.

The other knock I have on Sanders is his 5’8”  175 lb frame.  Not many guys that small are making it happen in the NFL on a consistent basis.

In his last two games of the season, Sanders posted the two best games of his career:

  • @Clemson: 6 receptions, 119 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Michigan (bowl game): 9 receptions, 92 yards, 2 touchdowns

Given that Sanders ended 2012 with a bang, it’s not surprising to see him ‘sell high.’  The only problem is that I’m not sure I would buy him as a wide receiver prospect.  He might be a useful return man, but otherwise his NFL value is limited.